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Out of the Rubble
Visionary filmmaker Penny Woolcock explores half a century of British urban life using films digitised for Britain on Film, the archive project from BFI and its partner archives.
Short documentary 2015 18 mins
Out of the Rubble is leading filmmaker Penny Woolcock’s creative response to Britain on Film, the archive project from the BFI in collaboration with regional partners from around the UK. Drawing on archive film digitised under the scheme, much of it unseen for decades, Woolcock explores the history of housing and British urban life over the last half a century, crafting a singular and revelatory short film.
Watch the original films used by Woolcock in our collection - Britain on Film: Out of the Rubble - or explore thousands more films in our Britain on Film map.
Britain on Film: Out of the Rubble
Non-Fiction 1965 7 mins Location: Ladywood
The tattered wallpaper of part demolished housing contrasts with gleaming new tower blocks. Ladywood in Birmingham may be on the up but what about the forgotten people?
New Towns for Old
Documentary 1942 6 mins Location: Sheffield
Sheffield stands in as 'Smokedale', an industrial Everytown, in this stirring call for "new schools, new hospitals, new roads, new life", after WWII.
A City Reborn
Documentary 1945 22 mins Location: Coventry
Coventry prepares to rise from the ashes of WWII in this docu-drama written by Dylan Thomas.
Rotherham up to Date
Promotional 1961 39 mins Location: Rotherham
An absorbing picture of council services at the beginning of the 1960s, with babies getting polio jabs and girls having braces fitted, while Roots is playing at the Civic Theatre.
Bull Ring Shopping Centre
Documentary 1965 25 mins Silent Location: Birmingham
A bright and breezy promotional tour of Brum's original mega-mall.
Housing Makes History
Campaigning film 1953 18 mins Location: Barnet
Residents of Barnet and Stockton-on-Tees are the lucky beneficiaries of a government scheme to remedy Britain’s housing problem.
The Lost Highway
Promotional 2019 10 mins
A wandering warrior dreams of a new form of expression, in this promo for UNKLE’s album The Road: Part II / Lost Highway Pt. II directed by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones.
Colour on the Thames
1935 16 mins
A rare glimpse of 1930s London in colour: the Thames has never looked lovelier.
What's Missing from this Picture?
Advert 1946 1 mins Silent
Life is looking up! The war is over and the “Corona” Man can visit his “Corona” families once more, door-to-door.
Fun at Rhyl
Advert 1962 0 mins Location: Rhyl
Cinema advertisement for Marine Lake & Ocean Beach, Rhyl, a popular destination for crowds set on a day's fun on free rides.
Local Cinema Advertisements - Blaenau Ffestiniog and Merthyr
Advert 1942 7 mins Silent Location: Blaenau Ffestiniog
Who could deny these advertising claims: "Attractive hair is the ambition of every woman", and "Your family will enjoy Lincoln potatoes"?
Shippam's Three Beans
Advert 1955 1 mins
Operatic chickens, shrimps and salmon sing-a-long with a paste pot chorus in this vibrantly animated advert for Shippam's